How average goals scored compares in the PSL vs top European leagues

It’s the silly season and for some soccer leagues around the world, it’s about to get even sillier as the festive fixtures pile up while others will take a short break.

Some teams might be wishing for a break, especially where goalkeepers are concerned. December to January roughly marks the middle of the season for most of the world’s soccer leagues. It’s also a time of reflection, so, let’s do just that.

Rightly or wrongly, for many football fans, goals scored often defines entertainment value. While it doesn’t always mean the quality is better, it’s the benchmark most often remembered

That season somebody broke a scoring record is far more likely to stick than the season when a goalkeeper kept a record-number of clean sheets.

In this context, South Africa’s Premier Division is often sneered at. While the league does have some skilful players, converting those skills into goals  is often s struggle.

That becomes very much apparent when looking at how the PSL compares to other leagues in Europe in terms of goals scored at this stage of the season.

The English Premier League, La Liga (Spain), Ligue 1 (France), Serie A (Italy and the Bundesliga (Germany) all average higher in terms of average goals per match for all  matches played in the 2019-20 season to date.

While South Africa’s teams have played the fewest matches overall in total (106), calculating the average across several metrics paints an interesting picture.

Most notable of all is the Bundesliga, which has played the fewest matches (135) after the PSL, yet has the highest average number of goals per game so far.

Ligue 1 in France, meanwhile, has played the most matches to date (177) and has the lowest average of goals per game across all metrics after South Africa’s top division.

Average goals scored across various leagues

Note: Figures taken on 17 December 2019.

Average Goals Per Match Psl Vs European Leagues

Equally intriguing is how goal scoring duties is distributed among players across the leagues.

Considering the discrepancy in matches played, a total tally for most goals by individuals across the different leagues would be somewhat frivolous.

But, to satisfy your curiosity, at the time of writing that honoured belonged to Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski with 18 goals in 15 games.

Looking at what percentage of goals the top scorers have contributed to their team’s total so far, though, makes for interesting reading.

Samir Nurkovic from Kaizer Chiefs was only recently propelled into the top scorers’ list, after his hat-trick against Bloemfontein Celtic.

He shares the honours’ roll with two other players and South Africa’s top division, at the time of writing, is the only league where the top scorers have contributed more than 50% of their team’s total league goals tally to date.

The most interesting figure on the list is Lionel Messi, whose 12 goals in 11 games a fraction of their 43 goals in total. That, perhaps, though, says more about just how much Barcelona are making their opponents suffer compared to other teams in various leagues.

Top scorers’ goals by percentage of team total

Note: Figures taken on 17 December 2019.

Individuals Goals By Percentage

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Antoinette Muller
Antoinette is a recovering journalist. She's a multi-award winner and thinks it's strange writing about herself in the third person, unless she's playing as herself in The Sims.